Those conservatives still clinging to the GOP are merely enabling the establishment leadership to continue their tacit support of the progressive goal of government expansion.
The TEA Party was birthed as a movement in 2009 by conservatives frustrated at the direction America was being taken by the progressive Democrats under President Obama and the fact that Republicans were not effectively opposing the progressive agenda of continued government expansion. Long forgotten were the words of the last Democrat president, Bill Clinton, who famously said “the era of big government is over” when signing the welfare reform bill presented to him by an invigorated Republican Congress. That welfare reform bill proved to be the high water mark of the Republican resurgence under House Speaker Newt Gingrich as their years in the minority apparently failed to teach them anything of restraint. Having regained the House and its power of the purse, they immediately set about the task of outspending the Democrats, no small feat, on projects near and dear to their hearts in their districts.
Conservatives were appalled at the profligacy demonstrated by Republicans who had long campaigned on fiscal restraint and limited government. It appeared that fiscal restraint to them meant restraining Democrat spending and excusing Republican spending. Voters were left with the correct impression that Republicans were really no different than Democrats when it came to spending and the expansion of government that comes with its increase. Al Gore failed to excite Americans into adopting his plan to expand government along environmental lines, and John Kerry’s shameful attempt to embellish his military career doomed his challenge to the very liberal presidency of George Bush.
George Bush, the president progressives love to hate who serves so conveniently as President Obama’s excuse for his progressive policy failures, was never a conservative despite years invested by the progressive media propagandists attempting to portray him as such. Bush passed huge expansions of government in the form of the Medicare prescription drug coverage entitlement for seniors, the Patriot Act authorizing massive government spying operations on Americans in the name of security, and creation of the entirely unnecessary bureaucratic monster known as the Department of Homeland Security which merely added another layer of federal bureaucracy on top of the multi-layered bureaucracy already running the hodgepodge of federal agencies now deemed important in the War on Terror. The Islamic terrorists caught American policymakers by surprise on 9/11 despite the clear evidence of their increased attacks on American targets overseas because our politicized military and intelligence agencies had grown lazy and overly reliant on technology at the expense of human intelligence elements.
Barack Obama was the beneficiary of the massive media propaganda campaign to malign George Bush’s presidency. Obama swept into office facing token resistance from Senator John McCain who could easily be mistaken for a Democrat without the R designation. George Bush was not the conservative the media propagandists would have Americans believe, and their campaign of denigration served to inflame the radical progressive base of the Democrat Party along with independents who just couldn’t get behind the tepid McCain campaign which never really stood for anything. Obama offered Hope and Change, never explaining that he hoped to change America into a socialist country patterned after the failed European model.
Fed up with the radical progressive agenda of government expansion that entailed trillion dollar deficits, the TEA Party movement was born out of frustration sparked by Rick Santelli’s rant reporting from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in February 2009. Rallies were organized for April 15 of that year to demonstrate that we were taxed enough already and opposed to further government expansion. We then turned our energy towards retaking Congress in 2010 as a counterweight to President Obama’s progressive agenda working through the Republican Party whose conservative brand most closely aligned with our conservative principles of limited government, constitutional fidelity, and personal liberty. Upon winning back the House, we expected to have a voice at the table of Republican policy only to find that our electoral efforts were appreciated by the Republican Party leadership but our conservatism was not. We were politely told to sit down and shut up while the Republican leadership went about the task of governing with the progressive apostasy of bipartisanship the order of the day.
Offended by this pushback from the establishment GOP leadership and the establishment Republican failure to more forcefully oppose the progressive agenda, we set about to elect our own candidates to oppose those of the Republican establishment handpicked in the mistaken belief that only moderation could appeal to the voters. In this, the establishment GOP leadership had completely bought in to the progressive media propaganda that conservatism alienated voters and was a loser on the campaign trail. This was even more evidence that the establishment GOP leadership was out of touch with its conservative base and had abandoned the conservatism upon which its brand was based.
In our zeal to oppose the establishment GOP leadership and retake the Republican Party in the name of conservatism, we enjoyed some primary successes only to see the establishment GOP leadership work with the progressive media to oppose our candidates. This was a betrayal from the establishment GOP leadership we were not expecting, and our candidates suffered for it. Delaware senate candidate Christine O’Donnell was unfairly maligned by the media as being a witch and having an outstanding tax lien on her home. Years later it was learned that Republicans had worked with Democrats to illegally access her tax records and place the lien upon her home which was later removed as there was never an outstanding tax debt in the first place. We TEA Party conservatives were accused by the establishment GOP leadership of nominating poor candidates over much more electable establishment candidates when it was the establishment GOP leadership working against our candidates the entire time.
We TEA Party conservatives set about to choose more thoroughly vetted candidates in the 2012 election cycle only to have the establishment GOP leadership again work against our candidates both with and without our knowledge. Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin, a four-term congressman facing vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill and the handpicked establishment candidate whose conservatism allowed TEA Party conservatives to get behind his candidacy, fell into a progressive media trap on the question of abortion completely flubbing his answer by launching into some inane explanation about rape in a lame attempt to keep from offending any voters. In this, Akin was resorting to establishment theory that conservatism must be blunted on the campaign trail to avoid alienating voters. Despite his conservatism, Akin was resorting to establishment GOP leadership training, and his tortured answer was splashed across the progressive media landscape in an attempt to discredit all Republican candidates everywhere. The establishment GOP leadership quickly dumped Akin and distanced themselves from their own handpicked candidate with the fabricated story that Akin was another unvetted TEA Party candidate unprepared for the national stage despite being a four-term congressman.
More complicated was the case of Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock who picked off Senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary thus earning the enmity of the establishment GOP leadership which refused to support his general election campaign against a weak Democrat. Mourdock pointed out that Lugar no longer owned property in Indiana and had moved to Washington, DC years ago as part of his campaign to show voters how out of touch Lugar was to Indiana voters. Mourdock, a seasoned statewide office holder and reliable conservative, fell into the same abortion trap as Akin just weeks after Akin’s very public gaffe. Once again, the progressive media trumpeted Mourdock’s politically insensitive answer by taking it out of context, and once again, the establishment GOP leadership painted Richard Mourdock as another unvetted TEA Party candidate unprepared for such a high profile campaign.
Unable to co-opt the TEA Party and tiring of TEA Party attempts to retake the Republican Party from their establishment grasp, the establishment leadership determined to war against the TEA Party in a very public way with establishment strategist Karl Rove calling TEA Party candidates “unelectable” and vowing to work towards their defeat in the 2014 primaries. Rove and the establishment leadership were joined in this effort by Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue who declared that the big business Chamber would donate tens of millions of dollars to defeat TEA Party candidates opposed to the amnesty bill masquerading as immigration reform which they supported. Donohue declared that TEA Party opposition to amnesty was rocking the boat and upsetting their ability to make money under the Obama administration.
The big business corporatists represented by the Chamber of Commerce favor amnesty for illegal immigrants to put additional wage pressure on Americans unemployed in record numbers. They are profiting from the Obama administration’s crony capitalist policies favoring their wealthy donors and big business interests through burdensome regulation which increases costs on smaller businesses less able to compete with large corporate conglomerates able to spread these additional costs over a wider customer and product base.
Given this recent history of the Republican Party and its abandonment of conservatism, it is no surprise that the fastest growing political group is independents with the bulk of their registrations coming from Republicans walking away from the establishment GOP leadership. The TEA Party is still a movement, although better organized, and suffers from attempts to appropriate its name for illegitimate causes having nothing to do with conservatism and everything to do with enriching the encroachers. As a movement, we are unable to effectively oppose establishment GOP leadership attempts to undermine our candidates, and our continued association with the GOP merely serves to confuse voters who neither understand nor appreciate the intraparty struggle occurring between the establishment liberal and TEA Party conservative wings of the Republican Party.
In the interests of preserving our conservative branding and recognizing that we are never going to retake the Republican Party from the establishment leadership which controls the donors, party machinery, and primary process, and is able to use the progressive media to further undermine our candidates through slanderous public portrayals, it is incumbent upon us to abandon the Republican Party and form the TEA Party ignoring the establishment propaganda that we are consigning conservatism to the wilderness in favor of progressive victories far into the future. It is time for those conservative clingers to recognize the establishment propaganda being used to keep them subservient to a party which no longer reflects the conservative values they still hold. The time is past when these clingers can remain tepid on the issue of conservative abandonment merely for the sake of winning elections.
History demonstrates that formation of the Republican Party in 1856 from the remnants of the Whig Party finally offered Americans a clear choice on the issue of slavery apart from the similar space on the political spectrum occupied by the Democrats and Whigs. This clear choice led Americans to reward the newly created Republican Party with the White House under Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Today, on the issue of government expansion, we have progressive Democrats and establishment Republicans occupying the same portion of the political spectrum trying their best not to offend voters who are demanding a clear choice against continued government expansion. The opportunity clearly exists for the TEA Party to abandon the establishment GOP, offer voters that clear choice opposed to government expansion they so evidently demand, and begin the process of returning America to the limited government clearly espoused by the Founders in the Constitution while restoring the checks and balances necessary to preserve constitutional fidelity.
What it will require is the realization by the conservative clingers that this can only be accomplished by leaving the establishment Republican Party for the conservatism of the TEA Party. These conservative clingers must resist the propaganda that so clearly serves the interests of the establishment GOP leadership at the expense of conservatism, recognize that they will never pry the Republican Party out of the grasp of the establishment leadership, and realize that their conservatism will never be accepted by a leadership convinced that electoral victory lies along the path of moderation despite years of demonstrated failure. The establishment GOP leadership has been thoroughly brainwashed by the progressive propaganda machine to believe their lies, and their every effort reflects this brainwashing. It is time for the conservative clingers to join us in the TEA Party.